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Plataforma Puebla 2006

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Narcorecados by Teresa        Margolles
Teresa Margolles

Exhibition Regeneration, platforms and utopian spaces by Plataforma       México
Nodo Exposición

Exhibition Regeneration, platforms and utopian spaces by Plataforma       México
Nodo Exposición

Black automobiles parked by Santiago        Sierra
Santiago Sierra by Radio       Global
Radio Global

[Galeanas Radio] by Ariel       Guzik
Ariel Guzik

[Galeanas Radio] by Ariel       Guzik
Asociación Civil Puebla 2031 ,
Nov 24, 2006 - Jan 28, 2007
Puebla, Mexico

Plataforma Puebla 2006
by Rubén Bonet

The Interventions Node also included two actions dealing directly with Puebla’s urban fabric, one by Santiago Sierra, the other Teresa Margolles’ Narcorecados [Narcomessages]; Margolles made use of the billboard of the centrally-located, now abandoned Cine México to place the slogan Para que aprendan a respetar [For you to learn some respect]: on the opposite sidewalk she placed two benches made of fragments of glass taken from cars fired at during a "settling of accounts" between drug traffickers. Countless comments can be made on the intentionality of her denunciation regarding the complex issues stemming from drug-trafficking, which amply surpasses any fiction.

Torolab’s Urbanismo molecular>fast food [Molecular urbanism>fast food] deals directly with daily life in the city through a molecular gastronomy project based on a study of the eating habits of Mexicans. Based on that analysis, a product -Las Picuditas-- was designed and distributed in a little car: according to nutrition analyses, it is the nearest thing to a whole food. The action was supplemented by sticking adhesive strips reading Qué comiste hoy? [What did you eat today?] onto the advertising supports used by leading food brands, and through an e-mail postcard campaign for families. The back of the postcards contained data furnished by Mexico’s Health Institute, such as the fact that 69% of the Mexican population is overweight.

In another environment, also involving a high level of participation, the Galerí­a del Ayuntamiento [City Hall Gallery] featured Marí­a Alos and Nicolás Dummit Estévez’s El Museo Peatonal [The Pedestrian Museum], consisting of little bags containing what passers-by have thrown away in Mexico City, New York, Madrid and La Havana, ranging from condoms to expired passports. In this case donations were received at a stand located in Puebla’s Zócalo, or Main Square.

At the same venue was the broadcasting site of the young members of from Tijuana, who interviewed visitors and local artists, broadcast their customary musical programming, and rounded out their presence with an exhibition of posters, objects and promotional stickers that read Por Internet Baby [On the Internet, Baby].

The Galerí­a de Arte Contemporáneo y Diseño [Contemporary Art and Design Gallery] featured Heterotopí­as, an exhibition bringing together the most notable examples of contemporary Mexican art, partly made up of works from the Jumex Collection, among them artists as distinguished as Gabriel Orozco, Francis Alÿs, Damián Ortega, Melanie Smith, Carlos Amorales and Thomas Glassford, and Puebla artists Ernesto Cortés, Alberto Ibañez, Carmen Puente and Cuatecontzi Santos: interesting and disparate.

In that same area of the promenade of San Francisco, a former convent and industrial complex now in use as a public space, Brazilian artists Rejane Cantón and Daniela Kutschat had installed a work entitled Op era. The work involved a magnificent interactive and immersive piece in which sensors captured movement and voice, which are then transformed into images projected on three screens in real time. The piece had only been exhibited previously in Chicago and Karlsruhe (ZKM), so the fact that it was shown in Puebla sets a precedent within the international circuit.

Artists from the state of Puebla were also represented locally in the former Hospital de San Pedro, with the exhibition Regeneración, plataformas y espacios utópicos [Regeneration, platforms and utopian spaces], was curated by the artist Juan Pablo Mací­as. Alternative spaces that have operated in Puebla and elsewhere, but that have exhibited the work of Puebla artists were asked to take charge of different areas within the exhibition space. This led to a rhizome-like organization with many entries in which priority was given to the process between object and author; with the participation of spaces such as "LAALvaca" and "Seis por Seis" from Puebla and "Object Not Found" from Monterrey.

The José Luis Bello y González Museum presented Sonic Lounge, a series of compositions and sounds curated by the Mexican Lydia Camacho, who chose the work of Latin American artists whose sounds range from the intimate to the collective imaginary of each country. The Argentinean Ricardo Dal Farra selected urban and wild landscape sounds along with those of other Latin American artists such as the Argentinean Daniel Terruggi, Mexican artist Manuel Rocha and the Colombian Mauricio Bejarano.

The Plataforma program was rounded out with a series of concerts given during several weekends, involving groups that play all kinds of music, ranging from experimental jazz to the electronic compositions of Fax, Terrestre, and Ejival from Tijuana.

Plataforma 2006 will likely leave a mark on the city of Puebla, with varying degrees of intensity. The local inhabitants were able to enjoy exhibitions and events that are rarely available in the city, with the presence of first-rate artists that are seldom seen on the same program, and all, I stress, for free. The local artistic community had the opportunity of seeing how their works engage in dialogue with more internationally recognized artists, while perhaps also gaining access to new channels of communication and exchange. For the city of Puebla as a whole, Plataforma opens up new prospects for placing the city’s name on the international contemporary art circuit as well as providing the possibility of repeating events of this size instead of hosting an exceptional one-time event. Whichever way one looks at it, it was worth it.

Rubén Bonet

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